Heated thermoplastic prepreg forming die

Independent Machine Co. has introduced a two-roll heated forming die for shaping composite prepregs.

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Independent Machine Co. (Fairfield, N.J.) has introduced a two-roll heated forming module for 3-inch/76.2-mm to 12-inch/305-mm-wide resin-coated carbon tows. The system is designed to form a continuous web of thermoplastic prepreg by metering control through heat and pressure. The matched 8-inch/203-mm-diameter alloy steel forming die rolls are hardened to nominal 60 Rockwell C hardness and finished with 0.0001-inch/0.00254-mm TIR (total indicator runout). Both are electrically heated to 392°F/200°C with 1 percent distribution accuracy across the roll face. The female roll has adjustable separate flange rings that mechanically lock in a “rub out” position to the desired sized forming die roll. Die gap is controlled by a precision wedge block assembly at each journal and can be hydraulically loaded to more than 20,000 lb/9,072 kg separating force. Gap positioning is displayed in 0.0001-inch increments. The flange rings can be unlocked and repositioned for die width and tolerance adjustment to provide a close-tolerance forming tool. The forming die is driven by an A-C flux vector drive with a 20:1 speed range.

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